Race Weekend Central

2017 NASCAR Cup Team Review: Leavine Family Racing

(Photo: Logan Whitton/NKP)

In 2017, Leavine Family Racing stepped up with Michael McDowell, who finally competed in his first full-time season with the organization in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. McDowell had one of the most consistent years of his career, ultimately finishing 26th in points. McDowell had a number of breakthroughs, from his first career top-five …

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David Ragan, Michael McDowell Fill Front Row Motorsports 2018 Driver Lineup

(Photo: John K. Harrelson/NKP)

David Ragan will be returning for his fifth season at Front Row Motorsports in 2018, while Michael McDowell will replace Landon Cassill as the team’s second driver. McDowell, 32, joins FRM after spending the last four seasons with Leavine Family Racing, finishing a career-high 26th in the championship standings in 2017. In 2013, McDowell finished …

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The Underdog House: Small NASCAR Teams Still Fighting Hard

(Photo: Russell LaBounty / NKP)

Think Small With just one race to go in 2017, it’s been a mixed bag of a season for the sport’s smaller teams.  Furniture Row Racing has set the gold standard for them. It’s taken a one-car, outsider organization to the top echelon of NASCAR’s elite teams within five years. That’s a model others can …

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The Underdog House: Small NASCAR Teams Thrive At Short Tracks

(Photo: Nigel Kinrade/ NKP)

Cup Series racing at Martinsville is about survival and persistence. The on-track action always ruffles some feathers, best evidenced by the late-race incident between alpha dogs Denny Hamlin and Chase Elliott. What was happening between Kevin Harvick and Ryan Blaney served as the consolation sideshow. PETERS: What Happens Now For Hamlin & Elliott? But at Underdog …

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The Underdog House: Where was the Outrage… For Corey Lajoie?

(Photo: Barry Cantrell/NKP)

Think Small Checking out social media on Monday, there were a lot of posts expressing outrage at Matt Kenseth being parked Sunday at Kansas for having too many crewmen working on his car after damage put him on the five-minute clock.  Kenseth’s disqualification took him out of the playoffs in what may be his last …

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The Underdog House: Surviving NASCAR Talladega… Sort Of

(Photo: Matthew T. Thacker/NKP)

Think Small One thing that struck me when I first started in NASCAR was that if you spent enough time looking, you could see fans at a race who supported every driver in the field.  T-shirts, hats, and bumper stickers were among the ways they proclaimed their loyalty. Fast forward a couple of decades, and …

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Todd Parrott Out as Leavine Family Racing Crew Chief

(Photo: Logan Whitton/NKP)

The driver of the No. 95 for Leaving Family Racing isn’t the only thing that’s changing next season. Todd Parrott, crew chief of the No. 95 Chevrolet piloted by Michael McDowell this season, has been relieved of his duties with the team, effective immediately. The team broke the news with a tweet early Monday morning. …

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4 Burning Questions: Who Will Surprise Us All at Talladega?

(Photo: Logan Whitton/NKP)

Who Could Be a Surprise Cup Winner on Sunday? NASCAR’s Talladega week is where it gets fun for us writers. We get to publish our outlandish, bold winners who we predict may make us look like geniuses for once in our nine-month season. In this week’s Frontstretch Podcast powered by DraftKings, we added a little …

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Couch Potato Tuesday: NBC Benefits from Rule, Pounds Playoff Theme

(Photo: Russell LaBounty / NKP)

Last weekend’s action in Charlotte was quite difficult, and not because of anything NASCAR did.  The weather simply wreaked havoc on everything. Before we even get started, we must talk about the timeslot change for Sunday’s Bank of America 500.  That was only possible thanks to two factors.  One was an agreeable TV partner in …

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Who’s Hot & Who’s Not in NASCAR: Charlotte Edition

(Photo: Yvonne Leonard)

The rain may have stayed away from Charlotte Motor Speedway on Sunday afternoon, but Martin Truex Jr. couldn’t stay away from Victory Lane. Truex just reinforced the idea of what most in NASCAR already know: He is a virtual lock to be one of the Championship 4 in the final race at Homestead. That’s not to say …

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